Parole review board to decide on Oscar's fate

Johannesburg - Whether Oscar Pistorius stays in jail or is released is expected to be decided when the parole review board meets on Friday.

The former Paralympic athlete was meant to have been released from the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria on August 21, to serve out the rest of his jail sentence under house arrest.

Two days earlier, however, Justice Minister Michael Masutha announced that Pistorius would not be released.

He said the parole board had acted prematurely when it decided in June that he could be released on August 21. He said it should only have made the decision on August 21, which was when he had served 10 months, or one-sixth, of his five-year jail term.

Masutha’s decision was prompted by a letter from women’s rights group, the Progressive Women’s Movement, asking that he not be released during Women’s Month.

Justice department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga could not be reached for comment on the details of Friday’s proceedings.

Broadcaster eNCA reported that the board would meet in Durban, and that Pistorius’s lawyers would not be part of the process.

In October last year, High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorius to five years in jail for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He shot her through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day 2013, claiming he thought she was an intruder.

The State was granted leave to appeal his conviction on a charge of culpable homicide. It wanted him found guilty of the more serious charge of murder, which carried a heavier sentence. The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will hear this matter in November.

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